Watch out investors: Biden is coming for your tendies.
On Thursday the New York Times published details of Biden’s plan to raise taxes to fund child care and education. For investors, the main news was that capital gains for those who earn over $1m in America would double to nearly 43.4 per cent.
Stocks did not take the news well. The S&P 500 reversed from its intra-day highs to close down 0.9 per cent, with the Nasdaq following suit.
So, of course, Biden’s tax plans were the focus of our chat on FT Alphaville’s daily Clubhouse session this Friday morning, when we were lucky enough to be joined by George Pearkes, a macro strategist at Bespoke Research.
What was interesting about the sell-off yesterday was how unevenly it was distributed across the market, said Pearkes. The S&P 500 stocks that sold off the most were the best performers in the blue-chip index over the past year, while the worst performers sold off the least.
Here’s a chart that Pearkes pulled together, demonstrating just that (the X-axis shows one-year performance from the lowest decile of the S&P to the top):
Clearly, those sitting on the largest capital gains were the most eager to exit their positions while those with more modest returns were happy to sit tight. For now, anyway.
There’s already been a backlash on Wall Street to the proposal, with characters such as Anthony “10-day” Scaramucci making the well-worn arguments that raising capital gains will have negative effects on job creation and middle-class wage growth.
So we’ll leave you with this fact from Pearkes: according to the Federal Reserve’s own data, the top 1 per cent of earners in the US earn above $513k, just over half the amount at which this tax kicks in. So really, we’re talking about a tax that doesn’t even target “the 1 per cent”, but a sub-section of that elite group.
Where did we leave our tiny violin again?